A public hearing to review and collect comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed 331-unit development to rise up to ten stories on the northeast corner of Mission and 16th Streets, the so-called “Monster in the Mission,” has been scheduled for June 9.

But the legal battle between the development team and family that holds title to the 1979 Mission Street site has yet to be resolved. And in fact, the trial between the two parties, which now includes the added accusation of mental incompetence, isn’t slated to commence until the end of this month.

That being said, according to a court filing this morning, the two parties have been engaged in “serious settlement discussions” over the past two weeks, and on April 28, a draft settlement agreement was presented to the development team. But the aforementioned discussions appear to have since broken down, the draft settlement agreement appears to have been scuttled, and the property owners’ litigation team has now replaced their transactional counsel “which is no longer to be contacted.”

As such, Maximus Real Estate Partners, which has already invested an estimated $8 million to design and entitle the proposed development and has technically forfeited a $5 million deposit for the property, is now seeing a judicial order directing the two parties to an immediate settlement conference.

Maximus has accused the Jang family, which owns the property, of working behind the scenes, “through a series of bad faith, fraudulent and oppressive business maneuvers,” to actively delay the approval process for the proposed development in order to sell the site to an unnamed “national development company based on the East Coast” for $55 million, $13 million more than the $41.88 million contract price which Maximus negotiated in 2013.

And as we originally wrote last year: “With the potential for an additional $18 million in profit should the Jangs prevail and successfully sell the land to another developer for $55 million, and the potential for Maximus to lose its entire investment of $13 million to date, don’t expect a quick resolution to the suit or any forward progress on the development until it’s settled.”

We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

UPDATE: To clarify, the public hearing scheduled for June 9 will provide the public and Planning Commission an opportunity to comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the project. The Planning Department will then prepare a response to the comments and concerns, at which point a hearing to adopt the EIR will be scheduled.

131 thoughts on “Epic Battle Heating up over the Monster in the Mission”
    1. yeah, wow, going to trial for something like this is pretty rare.

      i wonder what sort of language they had in their contract(s). i can’t imagine that maximus would continue spending without some pretty solid advice from counsel that they could at least recuperate based on a reliance and/or restitution argument, even if they didn’t prevail. and if the language allows for restitution, i’d guess that they’d probably also get a piece of (or even all of) whatever extra value was created by entitling the land. man, would be something if it were a handshake deal or if the “contract” was just a bunch of emails. that’s the sort of thing i imagine when i hear a deal like this is going to trial. or it could be a perfectly solid contract and maximus might be arguing that the jangs prevented/hindered maximus’ good faith attempts to perform (sent confusing notes changing days to tender the cash, delayed giving a bank number, were unresponsive when maximus tried to locate to send a certified cheque, etc). that would be a solid basis to assume that the jangs would be bound by the contract and that maximus could feel confident moving ahead with entitling as planned.

      it’d also be super interesting to know what they almost settled on – obviously it would have meant that maximus moved forward with the project (ie completed the purchase), but would the jangs have received the 55 million they were asking for from the east coast buyer? probably not or they wouldn’t have walked away. so we can assume that maximus and the jangs found some number greater than 42 but lower than 55. no trial of this scale would cost a million bucks or more, so it could well be that the jangs are going to trial because they don’t fear specific performance, so why eh, why not? could get out of it and make even more bank.

        1. would have to see the jangs’ filing too but it looks like maximus has a good case on the egregious bad faith but an iffy one on the development partnership. like contacting city hall to delay the development while you’re secretly negotiating with another buyer, who’ll pay more because of the entitlements maximus is pursuing? if that’s proved, the jangs won’t be feeling so great.

          and it’s a fairly subtle point in the complaint but an absolutely crucial one in the case: did maximus’ agreement to the jangs final terms conclude the contract? the argument that it’s a no is a pretty good one and i wouldn’t imagine maximus will prevail on that. which is why in cause of action four, they ask that, if the court finds that the joint development agreement was not concluded and finds a breach for the bad faith acts, the court grant specific performance per the contract terms. that means conveying the property under the earlier contract terms. absent that, it’s the 12 million in reliance/restitution damages.

          without knowing what the jangs argue or what evidence there it, i’d guess: no on the partnership agreement, yes on the breach/fraud, maybe on specific performance, definitely the 12 million in damages if no s.p. maybe even attorneys fees because it’s so malicious (though they’d fight this line by line). then it’s up to the changs to sell to pay maximus off or to just go ahead and do the deal they’ve been trying to worm out of.

  1. Only in SF is a 10 story building on top of a major transit stop characterized as a “Monster”!

      1. The BART tunnel is not underneath this property and has nothing to do with the height. The tunnel is under Mission Street. All that is near this property is the stairway/escalator and it’s clearly not part of the property. The proposal is 10 stories because, even at that, it is considered a “monster” in the Mission. I so would like to see this built in this cycle!

        [Editor’s Note: It’s also the maximum height (105 feet) for which the parcel is currently zoned.]

      2. That’s not even a thing. Why do people always come up with the most bizarre nonsense as to why buildings can’t be built.

        1. “There are earthquakes in SF. Therefore we should not build anything until we figure out how to prevent them.”

      3. I think I heard a rumor from a little birdie who got an idea from a daydream about an urban legend, that the building is too big because of feng shui or something.

        Seriously though, there is no *good* reason why we shouldn’t build very large buildings in the Mission district, or really anywhere else in San Francisco at all. If you are opposing it only because you feel like it looks aesthetically out-of-place, then that is not a good reason.

        So many people today have so little sense of the scale of the imbalance between supply and demand. We are never going to even begin to address the housing problem if we keep freaking out about each little incremental adjustment to average neighborhood building height.

        You know, while we are stuck here arguing about a couple extra stories here and there, the city of Hong Kong is handling housing demand like a pro, and they are planning to build more new housing units over the next decade, than there are total housing units now in the entire city of San Francisco.

        Sure San Francisco was recently voted ‘Most Innovative’ city in the world, with the greatest potential for the future, but we can only claim that nebulous prize if we actually step up to the plate. Right now most of us don’t even know where the plate is, and we are stuck in the dugout arguing about what color shoes to put on.

          1. If we replace all the SFHs with really tall buildings, then that won’t be a problem because then there won’t be SFHs. Let’s let all the SFH folks move to Marin. SF needs housing, not low-density burdens.

        1. “So many people today have so little sense of the scale of the imbalance between supply and demand. ”

          And so many people fail to realize that focusing only on supply and demand is a disingenuous and sloppy way to account for actual pricing in the real world. Once you get above a certain height, the engineering involved gets exponentially more complex, and the cost per unit rises. This makes the property itself more valuable, and it raises the value of all nearby property. This makes housing even more affordable.

          You have every right to support taller buildings. If you own property anywhere in SF, each tower built raises the value of your property. Good for you. But it’s disingenuous to claim that building taller buildings will make housing more affordable, because empirically, it doesn’t. There are countless examples of taller buildings making adjacent property more expensive. Can anyone cite an example of a taller building actually making housing more affordable?

          1. I’d be happy if we upzoned the entire city to 65 feet. There should not be a single parcel of land in San Franciso zoned single family. None. This is a major American city. If you want to live in a single family home, that’s fine. There’s a place for that. Its called San Mateo.

          2. Why shouldn’t San Mateo also be upzoned to 65 feet in its entirety? It is even more expensive than San Francisco, and right in the middle of two large nearby cities. Make people move to Stockton if they want a single family home . . .

          3. If the goal is to reduce auto usage and concentrate transit, then upzoning the entire bay area to 65 feet and making housing for 20 million people isn’t a horrible idea.

          4. Well, it sounds like housingwonk and Dobbs are died in the wool ultra left socialist/communist folks. They actually said it: Let the STATE AND THE PARTY decide to upzone the entire city and while we’re at it lets start imposing our PARTY views on other cities. It’s all in the name of the PEOPLE. Get rid of all single family homes. Our workers will want and accept living in dense mid-rise buildings all over the Bay Area.

            And then of course Frog pipes in with upzoning the entire Bay Area to actually allow for 20 MILLION people. While we’re at it, lets change the name to Shanghai.

            I need a drink.

      4. I’m a structural engineer. I can assure you, the adjacent BART tunnel is not what’s restricting the building height to 10 stories.

        1. Hi Chad,

          Are you familiar with the Upper Yard at Balboa Station? There BART is insisting that no construction happen within 25 (30?) feet of the station/tunnel. That’s severely limiting what can be built. Is there something different about Balboa Station or are they just being obstructionist? Thanks

          1. Some of the stories are definitely about the bart tunnels other times its about the school or other things, but i am sure i read it in at least one article.

  2. Well then, if it’s not a Monster, let them put it at the Glen Park BART station. Or next to Forest Hill or West Portal Muni stations. What — the neighbors wouldn’t stand for it? It would destroy the character of the neighborhood?

    Why aren’t small, largely white neighborhoods being asked to bear more of the brunt of the new dense housing? Why is it the brown, working-class folks in the Mission who have to bear it instead?

    1. i’d love to see glen park bart ringed with low rise towers like this. make them even taller in fact, 20 stories. zero parking, loads of retail, maybe even some office space. that would be great! west portal and forest hill too! let’s do it!

      1. No, not going to happen nor should it. These are neighborhoods too far out from the “core” like Mission and 16th to attract development of that scale. Glen Park is a village in the city, and should remain so.

        1. glen park has bart station. the idea of an exclusive “village” in a dense served by heavy rail is so incredibly classist…

          1. Didn’t say exclusive, but you did. Describing GP as a village is merely defining the small scale characteristics of it, and most residents there call it just that. It’s a unique gem in SF that offers small scale living in a large city. And those who can afford it really enjoy it.

          2. Yes, exactly. It’s also stupid. Heavy rail is a huge asset that was gifted to these people, and the region’s needs have changed. Of course, we really need to move beyond local control of land use, to stop these ridiculous denials of the gifts people have been given at the expense of the region.

          3. No, it’s actually the term most GP residents use when describing their neighborhood, and yes they can afford to live there. It’s a great place to live. Witness housing prices recently and the demand.

            Pretty sweet.

          4. I can’t say that I’m much of a Futurist fan, but I am a pragmatist. And it does seem clear that while some people like the more urban experience of apartment living in a bustling area like the mission, others enjoy what is essentially semi-suburban living with easy access to the rest of the city. And places such as Glen Park, Noe Valley and parts of Bernal work very well for this.

            And so rather than break something that seems to be working well, it would be better to try and replicate it.

            While I feel that some on here are deceptively shilling their own interests by talking as if some areas of the city are just on the cusp of becoming the new Bernal, it doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t be good city planning for these areas to be pushed in that direction.

          5. Exactly. sound urban planning is ALWAYS striking a balance between existing context and neighborhoods, and future growth. SF can exist very well with dense high rise communities in established locations, while at the same time preserve and protect small scale residential neighborhoods that have been in existence for over a century.

            Then there are the others, without any true knowledge of planning or architecture, would propose that SF can and should have 10 or 12 times the number of housing units currently in the pipeline. Maybe they are confusing SF with Hong Kong or Shanghai?

          6. Certainly all seems to make sense and that’s exactly how I like my San Francisco too, but doesn’t even begin to address the point made by Cynthia as to bearing the responsibility of creating sufficient housing. If these enclave will be permitted for those so inclined, why force a development such as this on an established neighborhood of unwilling people? And don’t tell me “zoning allows it” because that’s just a political decision as approving this project in the face of vehement opposition. And especially don’t question the legitimacy of that opposition by calling them “squawkers.” I see no evidence of support (organized or otherwise) actually founded in the neighborhood.

        2. Glen Park should remain as-is, forever – this is objectively true, so says Futurist. (I think of him as “Past-ist”). Classic NIMBY hiding behind pretentious assertions of specialized knowledge and superior taste. Which is doubtful in reality.

          1. I too think of him as “Past-ist”. He’s a straight ahead SF NIMBY. No ifs ands or buts.

          2. Silly comments from you and Frank. Rather absolutist don’t you think? I mean, really NO single family homes at all allowed here. So how exactly would you implement that idea?

            And let’s be clear. I know both of you and many others actually would prefer that all housing is available for ALL, and that the neighborhoods must be turned into high rise enclaves. Seriously? Guess what, it’s not going to happen. We have large areas already zoned for mid rise and high rise construction, with PLENTY opportunities available for that kind of growth.

            Balancing responsible growth and sound urban planning with respecting and preserving the scale and character of smaller scale neighborhoods is what MOST SF citizens want, and it’s very doable.

          3. Futurist, please define “responsible.” I get the impression you want minimal increases in the quantity of housing units in SF, say, less than 20,000 units, i.e. piecemeal increases prioritizing current esthetics. I assert that the city needs at least 5x as much as that, and I’d be happy with 10x to 12x, and that’s probably near max. But a key part of that is properly utilizing existing expensive and underutilized infrastructure, i.e. Glen Park. That’s where your position really fails.

    2. It’s not a race/color issue at all. Stop trying to stir up trouble by saying it is. This building fits perfectly well into the Mission at this location. Others will follow.

      This is where housing is needed and wanted.

      1. Strange how this “Futurist” person uses the term “wanted”. Yet similar buildings are not “wanted” by him near his home, For esthetic reasons.

        1. See Frank, this is why we all know you’re just constantly trolling. So explain to us exactly how this type of building, in scale and height and massing would fit well AND be accepted in many other residential scale neighborhoods, especially those WITHOUT any Bart station remotely in the area.

          You have zero concept of sound urban planning and knowledge of process.

          1. Hmm, again I get support from a reader against you. Funny how you simply denigrate my intelligence when I disagree with you. As if I don’t know the basic concept of architectural context. As if architects or planners are high priests with specialized knowledge that is unattainable by people like me. How pretentious on your part, and therefore unsurprising.

          2. You don’t have to be so touchy. Sure it’s possible to learn the basics of urban planning and architecture. Just as it’s possible to learn a few things about basic law, or basic medicine, or basic teaching, blah blah blah.

            But going to school for 5 years for an architecture degree and then a few years of apprenticeship and then a state defined exam, does, in my mind give one a certain ‘specialized” knowledge. For some reason you feel it’s pretentious when it’s just a fact.

            The planning of our city, from almost the very beginning has derived from the skills of talented and skillful architects and urban planners who laid out broad visions for the future. Look at the grand design for City Hall and the plazas surrounding it and the careful scale and architecture of the surrounding civic buildings.

            That’s not from pretentious architects. That’s from talent, skill and knowledge.

          3. And Civic Center Plaza, and Hallidie Plaza, and the Central Freeway and Embarcadero Freeway were all planned and approved by skilled professionals. A spotty track record indeed. Citizen opposition also has a long heritage in the City because the experts are often wrong. (I agree with your conclusion but in this case your reasoning is poor)

          4. Except that I’m not talking about freeways. I’m referring to early planners who laid out of our major streets and corridors. We learned (with help from a little earthquake) that the Emb freeway should come down and resulted in vast improvements. The central freeway is another matter. It still serves hundreds of thousands per day. Until we have logical solutions to replace it/modify it, without impacting negatively the neighborhoods that would suffer from street level traffic, it’s probably going to stay.

    3. I know it’s useless arguing with you, but Mission Street is a major commercial corridor with plenty of capacity for development. A building this size wouldn’t destroy the character of the neighborhood,it would help it (particularly compared to the dreck that is currently on the site). The Mission already has a smattering of mid-rise buildings, For instance the US Bank Building is significantly taller than this proposal. Build it!

    4. Its not an issue of color – its an issue of economics. The haves and have nots.

      Black, white or brown the typical middle class and lower middle class worker won’t be able to afford these units any more than they can the units in SOMA. Heck, a lot of newly minted tech workers won’t be able to afford them. Unless, of course, one is lucky enough to win the BMR lottery.

    5. How many tech hipsters that had sufficient cash would opt to live near Glen Park or West Portal? Basically none. Housing gets built where people with money want to live.

      Many condo towers are getting built next to where I and my other mostly caucasian neighbors live. No one asked if we could “bear it”

      1. Obviously you have never hung out or shopped at the Canyon Market in GP around 6pm. As Bart empties, the young and all ages stream out of the station with their back packs, Ipods and skinny jeans; stopping at the market to get artisanal and delicious goodies before trekking up the various hills to their PLACES OF DOMESTICITY.

        Oh, yea, in Glen Park.

          1. Thanks and another very good example of responsible urban planning and contextual architecture is the new building completed on Diamond housing not only a public library, but a well used market, and 3-4 floors of urban housing, including below grade parking. It’s a 3 minute walk to the glen park Bart and scaled very well to relate to the existing character adjacent to it.

            A good project, and more like that would be supported in the neighborhood, but NOT high rises scattered all around the station.

        1. There’s really only so much you can do to describe something in a blog post. You really need to walk these places to see what’s going on.

          If you walk the length of Valencia, Mission and 24th you’ll see that what’s going on there is very different in scope and level of activity than the small stretch of Diamond and Chenery. Different strokes for different folks, so I’m not saying better or worse, but different.

          Same with comparing that to one tiny four barrel squished against a freeway on San Bruno, cute mini-parklet and a good start, but just the bare begins of a start.

          And same for people supposedly clamoring to be near the “hip” Bayview, though there you’d best drive around rather than walking.

          1. Agreed, I’m not saying the neighborhoods are the same, they aren’t at all.

    6. I live in the Castro. It’s a largely white neighborhood with great transit, not unlike the Mission. It has also recently seen the rise of multiple buildings of about this height, and at a more intensive pace than Mission Street. I don’t see us as suffering the “brunt” of new dense housing — I see our community as benefitting from new dense housing, especially where we want it (next to transit) and when a portion is dedicated as affordable to a range of incomes.

      The Mission (and the Castro) were zoned for this height and density because they have the transit for it. If we as a City stand behind our General Plan, including its the height and zoning restrictions and the inclusionary housing ordinances, then we are saying we want development here as long as it is code-complying. Some of my own neighbors have the same reaction as you against code-complying development. They don’t invoke race, because they can’t really do that in the Castro, so they invoke fear of other forms of demographic change.

      Living here since 1971, and watching these economic cycles wax and wane, I’m clear on one thing: waves of people come to San Francisco for the vibrancy, the freedom of self-expression, the live-and-let-live. They meet with opposition — the beatniks, the hippies, the gay community, the techies. The pattern seems to be that once they’ve landed, they immediately want to raise the drawbridge themselves. Self-entitlement seems like the bigger problem than brown working class folks bearing the “brunt” of having new housing choices in the neighborhood.

      1. I really don’t think you can call the Outer Market corridor “the Castro ” for purposes of equating such a building as proposed at 16th /Mission. Would you be so sanguine with such a building @18th/Castro?

        1. “Outer market corridor”? First time I’ve heard that. As somone born and raised next to/in the Castro, I’d say the castro includes the stretch of market from church (or maybe Dolores) to Douglass, or 18th or 19th Street (depends on whether you consider eureka valley to be part of the Castro or not).

        2. Yep, I live on the Duboce Park side of Market and would love if those gas stations at 18th and Castro were replaced with 10-story residential buildings. In fact, build on top of the Pottery Barn and some of it’s neighbors while you’re at it!

        3. Castro is not Mission or Market. City Planning has, for the most part, zoned areas for more height and density, and not without input from neighborhood groups.

          Much of the Market Street development is in the Market/Octavia development zone, which seeks to minimize space for parking, maximize residential density. It’s a very good plan.

          Mission/16th is an appropriate site for a 10-story structure. I wish they would build one that wasn’t so ugly, though.

      2. No, friscan. There are NO new buildings in the Castro corridor above Octavia that are “about” this scale and height. None.

        Let’s be clear about that. Appropriateness of scale and height are specific to each neighborhood, and is a tenet of good urban planning.

    7. Cynthia asks a very thought provoking question. I’ve seen a lot of cop outs and rationalizations seeking to invoke “good urban planning,” but is it really right to so blythely dismiss the actual neighborhood’s objections? — misguided as they may seem

      1. “Why aren’t small, largely white neighborhoods being asked to bear more of the brunt of the new dense housing?”

        What brunt?

        This isn’t a garbage dump or a rehab center. This is market rate housing near a transit corridor. Local merchants might get more business and local homeowners might see increased property values.

        1. Why not similar buildings adjoining Glen Park BART or on West Portal’s commercial corridor? Would make perfectly good sense, yet you knew it would never happen because the neighborhoods’ opposition would be honored.

          I’ve yet to see anything that compellingly refutes Cynthia’s point.

          1. Because I can see how the current market demand would be well met by this location and not Glen Park/WP. Closer to downtown, walkable to Valencia St and many amenities. Not to knock GP/WP, but the commercial areas they have next to their BART stations aren’t really the same and aren’t targeting the same demographic as what’s in the mission.

          2. The question had to do with providing needed housing and how that responsibility should be borne, not how to facilitate maximizing private developers’ profits. It’s absurd to suggest that such residences offered in GP/WP would not have a ready market. But you know they would never get built because of local objection. Then, how can you justify forcing it upon the residents of the Mission who are equally vociferous in their objections?

          3. It’s about meeting demand not about maximizing developer profits. Plenty of developers mis-time the market or over pay and end up losing money.

            There’s a certain type of “product” that’s in demand right now for folks who commute into the urban core, but want walk-ability to groceries, clubs and hip areas like the mission. GP and WP are essentially the mini-vans of the SF housing market.

            And who’s and what objections? Those in the neighborhood that own properties and businesses may support this rather than oppose it. Building a 10 story building in an area with clogged roads and no transit would create a justified concern over traffic, but that is not the case here.

            If the concern is just that you don’t like the people you think will move in, then that’s hardly a morally defensible complaint.

          4. Residences in a building such as this in GP/WP, etc would be snapped up and you know it. Because, above all, there is a *need* for such housing. So, to repeat Cynthia’s question, why are such neighborhoods excused and the people of the Mission forced to accept what they clearly tell us they don’t want?

          5. Orland, the answer is very simple and as old as scripture: power sets and enforces these policies. SF neighborhoods that resist development with enough political power shift developers towards weaker or more welcoming locales. Two-thirds to three-fourths of SF neighborhoods are dominated by folks that are very resistant to big increases in density. All fancy talk about urbane planing aside, that’s how it has always worked in SF. Power topology is more important than any other logos. As George Carlin might have said: shoot flows downhill.

            The only reason Chinatown isn’t 50+ stories high of downtown office buildings is they fought Shorenstein et al to a standstill (also fought displacement after 1906 fire). Ed Lee started his career right there at the front lines. The corner of Kearny and Sacramento isn’t some miracle of “sound urban planning” — it is the DMZ.

            The Mission has been fighting gentrification since the late 1960s when it was next in line for the treatment inflicted on the Western Addition. It rather successfully deflected that towards SoMa, and to a lesser extent towards Potrero/Dogpatch and Bernal; including some pitched battles in the dotcom. Sharks have been circling it for generations, picking off stray buildings and every so often trying a bull rush to rezone a big slice, usually NE Mission where the PDR is concentrated. Old SF script, for sure.

          6. Why, yes Jake, that’s obvious. I guess what Cynthia was interjecting was the morality (quaint as that may seem when it comes to residential real estate in this town) of the situation presented by this particular proposal in the here and now. I guess just a rhetorical question after all.

          7. Right now, almost any housing will get snapped up. You have people stretching to high price to income ratios to get into undesirable neighborhoods just on some faint hope that they’ll eventually become desirable. So in the midst of such froth, why mess with things that are working? Some people actually want to live in the mission, not in a semi-suburban area. They work downtown and so being closer to downtown is better. Mission has muni & bart and now a dedicated bus lane. Why build out a transit corridor and not put housing along it?

            And what about those in the neighborhood that own property and/or businesses? Do you think they oppose development?
            And is all of the opposition really from grassroots locals?

    8. I’ll bet you would gladly bear it if it were a pure, unadulterated low income housing for those “brown working class” folks. 25%, or whatever it is these days, of 331 units is better than 100% of nothing in my book.

    9. the mission isn’t all working class, isn’t all brown and is already a densely built part of the city. it’s called “urban living”.

      I live just 1-1/2 blocks from the horror that is the corner of 16th/mission. I’d let them build a 50 story building there. this city and the cry babies in it are absurd.

    10. Let’s do it! West portal especially, with it’s absurd height limit, is an egregious example of NIMBY-driven policies that drive up housing prices. It’s already a mixed-use neighborhood with great transit connections. If I was king of the world I’d put a building this size in west portal tomorrow. Also this one.

      Anyway, your argument is the same as the argument you’d hear from people in West Portal or Glen Park: I’m all for housing, let’s just build it somewhere else.

    11. The Mission is a better candidate for dense urban construction because it’s closer to SOMA and the Market Street Corridor. Glen Park would be a good candidate for dense development, too, but there will be more support for building housing there once the Mission is built-out, and that will take a decade or two. Until then, places like Glen Park are probably safe from the hordes of construction cranes just because they’re a bit further out from the city center.

    12. What about the Castro, which is mostly white & has had many large new buildings recently. It’s about proximity to downtown, and access to transit. I don’t know why you think it’s a racist thing.

  3. IMO the Mission and Central SOMA should be capped at 8 stories. There is no need to go higher. Existing housing plans will accommodate growth projected (to near a million – which I don’t think will necessarily happen) w/o expanding the hi-rise and, in this case, mid-rise zone.

    On top of which this proposed building is absolutely mediocre in design.

    1. Central SoMa and Mid-Market will be capped at 600-700 feet when accounting for spot-zoning. The Mission will be zoned for 200 foot max. This is the most responsible way to grow the city.

      1. Why cap the Mission District at 200ft? Why not just let the Market Street corridor’s density follow the BART tracks and extend into the Mission?

  4. These will need to go for 1.5-2M a piece by the time it’s built, but then who want to live next to the Navigaiton Center. When is the navigation center going go. I hope it’s only there temporarily.

    I’ll be happy to see this building going up and I own close by. Clean this disgusting corner up SF.

    For the 20 protesters crying ‘monster’, there are probably thousands of San Franciscans of us that would like it built.

    1. More housing for the wealthy. This project, despite its questionable location, does no more to solve the housing crisis than do the towers around the TBC.

        1. No, I am saying kep existing zoning.

          It will allow more than 62K units of new housing. Allow for the optimistic, IMO, projected population growth.

          Can SF accommodate 1 million residents? I don’t think so given the infrastructure. But existing height limits will allow it to do so.

          There is no reason to up-zone the Central SOMA or Mission or other areas. Unless one wants the City to grow beyond 1 million. Which, IMO, is absolutely crazy.

          1. SF can accommodate 4 million residents. All that’s needed is the political will and a few construction cranes.

          2. SF’s existing and planned water, power, and sewer systems can handle a million plus residents, but not two million, let alone 4 million. SF is currently spending more than a billion $ just to upgrade the sewer systems. There’s a sinkhole on Mission street in downtown being fixed this week because a water line from 1875 broke. The soft soils of the sunset and richmond break multiple water lines every year.

            Leaving aside the upgrades to the transportation network to handle four or five times the current population, it will cost tens of billions of $ to upgrade all those systems. And none of that is in any plans or any capex budgets. So, dream of cranes all you want, but expect mega taxes before those cranes can fly. Oh, and let us know where PG&E can build a new substation the size of half a city block near your home, because it will need to build a new one nearby for every few hundred thousand to half million new residents. One of the benefits of converting the old industrial areas along the eastern waterfront to housing and office is that they already had a lot of excess electrical power distribution left over from when it was industrial/port. But once that is used up by the ~200k new SoMa to HP residents, then PG&E will have to bring in more power.

          3. And that’s why we should be assessing developer impact fees to pay for the impact of development. Not to line the city coffers or to punish “greedy” developers or provide BMR housing or whatever else.

          4. SF does charge many impact fees, but they will never be enough to pay for all the upgrades. Besides, SF is already $ billions behind in maintenance.

            If you want the city to run better and grow without the infrastructure failing routinely (PG&E is barely three-nines reliable when it should be four-nines, other services are worse), then you need to pay for it. Repeal prop13, reassess all RE to market. Pay the piper to repair the old pipes and run the new pipes.

        1. We live in a highly regulated economy. It’s not really a free market. “Who can afford it” is largely up to us to define and manage.

          1. But should it be that way? I don’t think so.

            Maybe it’s time for San Francisco’s poor to realize that it’s immoral to demand free housing in the most expensive housing market in the country. May it’s time for San Francisco’s poor to hop on a bus to Salinas, which is a place where they’d be able to afford market rate rents instead of complaining about how they can’t afford San Francisco.

          2. No one’s asking for ‘free housing.” People are asking for affordable housing, and for jobs that enable working people without college degrees to afford that housing. It’s very possible to achieve this through policy — you can see such policy in almost all other industrial democracies. But such policy cuts into the profits of the banker/developer/landlord/realtor sector that has more political clout here than all other sectors combined.

  5. this type of density is already coming in to the mission. 3 blocks away, at 17th and folsom, a parking lot is being replaced by a 9-story affordable housing project. down van ness, at cesar chavez, another 9-story affordable project. at 15th and van ness, 6 story market rate. just up valencia at the old flax site – prepare for 14 stories of market rate. the size is not what makes it a monster.

    it is a “monster” because 1) the developer is trying to ditch all affordable requirements on-site for an off-site settlement, and 2) it is an SOM-designed “mini tower” in the internationalist style, probably drawn up by the same people designing all the new towers in SOMA. maximus needs to embrace affordable units on-site, and they need to hire a local designer that can work at this scale and get good cred from the community, i.e. saitowitz, baker, or similar. maximus is trying to strong-arm this thing in, and they are failing.

    1. The design is tedious, boring, banal – IMO.

      New architects – absolutely yes. Local – maybe. Please though – not Saitowitz.

    2. Why do they need affordable units on-site? It’s expensive to build in the Mission. Why not build the affordable units in Bayview/Hunters Point? That makes a lot more financial sense.

      1. for one, it’s illegal – written in the mayor’s office of housing guidelines are requirements for each neighborhood to meet, and each project fulfills part of that requirement. relocating the project would step outside these guidelines.

        and two, it should be illegal – grouping the less fortunate in to affordable housing neighborhoods (like the 20th century modernists) ended in financial and urban-planning horror. see Pruitt-Igoe, or the potrero projects, or the destruction of the historic fillmore district to build housing.

        afforable housing projects are truly community amenities — they provide more benefit to the community than any market-rate developer would. they often have retail, day-care, office space, and landscaped areas. anyone in their right mind would WANT affordable housing in their neighborhood, as opposed to a see of cheaply-built market-rate projects that meet the sidewalk with a fat garage door.

  6. I remember once walking home from the Folsom Street Fair and passing by this plaza and being much more shocked by what was going on there than anything at the fair.

  7. Future tenants of this building should qualify for a homesteaders exemption. Can you imagine stepping out of your luxury condo and into the plaza?

  8. Kind of lost in our focus upon the long running local controversy over this site is the suggestion that there is an East Coast “national development company” willing to fork over $55 Mill to take on this thing. What are they thinking? Some radically different proposal?

    1. Anybody have anything to offer on this subject which was probably the most significant thing included within this SS item?

  9. I think this is perfect for that location. Help clean up Skank Plaza too, which is probably the biggest benefit. Sorry SROers, no more outside living room 🙁

    But it sounds like the Jang’s are being pretty janky about this whole thing. Greedy.

  10. I get that the term “Monster in the Mission” is catchy and makes a nice headline, but can we refer to it by its actual name? It sort of slants the article going in and reinforces that a zoning compliant building is something out of place.

    1. Falling back on its being “zoning compliant” quite conveniently simply subsumes without addressing the point raised by Cynthia. Why might you think there is disparate zoning (political decision) for neighborhoods like the Mission and GP/WP? Talk about “slanting” an analysis to bolster a preconceived result.

      Look, my preference is to build the 16th / Mission proposal (and more) while leaving areas like GP/WP just as they are. I’m just subjectively having a real problem justifying ignoring the objections to “the Monster” being voiced by the neighborhood given the very different treatment shown others’ desires.

      1. It’s not the neighborhood’s building. At some point people have to realize that decisions have been made (with community input), planning has zoned this site to 100′ (with community input), and it’s private property. Maximus should be able to do whatever the hell they want with it as long as it complies. It’s not the communities land, it’s not communism.

        1. Really? Seriously! The neighborhood should have no say on a specific project so long as it is “zoning compliant” which decisions were made long ago and without regard to the specific effects of said property?

          Look, we all know this isn’t about building height or population density. It’s about fear of displacement and that concern absolutely demands to be adequately addressed before any damn party is allowed to “do with what it wants” because it merely “owns” a piece of realty!

          1. Yeah, really. I’m sick of the hand wringing that goes on in this city. This project will objectively improve the neighborhood and would be celebrated in any other city (and would not be such an issue). They’re including BMR units or paying into the fund. Done. They aren’t even tearing down any residential units. Move on and build more housing. Reason number #1812570 why housing is so stupid expensive here.

          2. And I’m getting sick of the unvarnished materialism that is threatening destroy one damn fine city.

            And, the Mission is mighty damn fine just as it is.

            There will simply be no wholesale “renewal” or “rehabilitation” masquerading exploiting “investment opportunities.”

            Any change will have to be organic a parcel at a time with some occasional smart infill which will improve upon an already valued civic asset.

            Besides, there is plenty of literally empty land upon which to build the SF of the future. Namely, an upzoned SOMA, but particularly, the Central and Southern Waterfronts.

            Live with it or move on to other pickings.

          3. in 2014 the Mission added 85 housing units net, which was about 2% of what was added in SF total. If every Mission project in the current SF housing pipeline was built they would add less than 10% to the housing units in the Mission. By contrast, the current pipeline for SoMa has 6 times as many units as the Mission. And there aren’t any huge supply of “vacant” parcels in either the Mission or SoMa. PDR buildings that have been occupied for decades are being torn down to build condos all over central and western SoMa.

            Characterizing the modest proposed increases as destroying the Mission are silly. The big change to the character of and characters in the Mission is from the wealth that has pushed up prices for everything from rents to condos to toast. That’s been going on for 20 years. Ya know way back when little markey zuckerberg was first learning the evil program skills he would someday use to destroy the soul of the Mission.

          4. May seem “silly” if your focus is upon properties and not people and their community.

            Whatever, as your recitation of the 2014 figures bears out, physical change (and the demographic change which the RE industry seems to insist upon) is going to be glacial when it comes to the Mission. Doubt it?

            Time to move on to more productive endeavors.

  11. Developing a moderately sized residential building right next to a major public transit station is a progressive idea that promotes the used of public transportation, reduces pollution, and fights climate change. And yet, it is the so-called “progressives” who hate the idea.

  12. The monster is “predatory-equity-investment” which is Maximus and its prior co-horts Stellar Management which is in the news frequently in NYC.

    Cliff has not ridden the BART train or 14/49 bus line anytime recently during rush hour.. and comprehends the lack of public transit and infrastructure in the area.

    pretty pictures such as those shown above, can be placed in ANY city in ANY location near transit. the impacts of displacement of existing communities is what is the concerns of “progressives”.

    1. You mean “displacing” a complete cesspool of disgusting human activity at this Bart plaza is not a good thing?

      1. This so-called architect is quite judgmental of human fallibility, isn’t he. Yet his own esthetic judgement is clearly infallible, or so he argues by assertion.

      2. it’s not about the BART plaza, it’s about the whole surrounding community of working class renters and the businesses they patronize. You know as well as they do that a rising tide doesn’t lift all boats. And they are using the legal channels available to them to assert their own interests. As is their right.

    2. Have you driven the Bay Area freeways at rush hour recently? Apparently not if you think that the BART / Muni isn’t an appropriate option for people during rush hour.

      Seriously, have you looked at the existing community this is displacing? Ramshackle buildings (including one that is completely abandoned) that house a few small business types that can be found all over the Mission. On top of that, Futurist is right, the stations in the Mission are more like public toilets than public living rooms. Building this building will not prevent anyone who currently uses it like a living room to continue to do so.

      1. Exactly. Many buildings in the Mission along Mission street are substandard and crappy; many 100 years old and older. They can and should be replaced (with proper planning) with higher zoned properties for housing and commercial/retail components.

        And yes, the way to clean up (literally) these two disgusting Bart plazas is to build quality housing and commercial, bringing in gentrification who will NOT tolerate the crap that now exists in these public spaces. They will demand more police presence for their safety and demand that the City increase public services in that area.

        Everyone benefits and the drug/ranting/dangerous culture will be forced out.

        1. Wow. I didn’t know that drugs, mental problems and crime were a “culture”. And to use that to justify the gentrification of Mission.. Let’s stop this Trumpism, shall we?

    3. you’re being ridiculous. BART has plenty of capacity in this location. The only place BART is out of capacity is in the Bay Tube coming into the City during rush hour. I ride BART from 24th and Mission every day to Oakland, and although I sometimes need to stand until Montgomery, there is plenty of room.

  13. Take a look at Toronto on google earth. You can pick out a number of the subway stations by the cluster of taller buildings around them. This is the very reason that 16th and Mission and 24th and Mission were picked for the BART route. At the time BART was planned, there were architectural plans for clusters of mid rise buildings around these two stations. The “neighbors” rose up with their pitchforks, and 40 years later, we still have 1-story buildings surrounding these stations. And the “neighbors” wonder why a 2br apartment in the Mission rents for $4,000/month.

    Contrary to some people’s beliefs, supply and demand does work. Yes the price of the underdeveloped properties next door will go up when a property redevelops, but city-wide, prices will eventually go down. Condo resale prices and apartment rents peaked in the third quarter of 2015. Its not because demand has cooled down, it is because we have flooded the market with new condos and apartments, essentially doubling the number developed in our best year. If year after year we were to develop 5-6,000 units a year instead of the 1,000-1500 a year average, there would be a meaningful drop in prices city-wide.

  14. UPDATE: To clarify, the public hearing scheduled for June 9 will provide the public and Planning Commission an opportunity to comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the project.

    The Planning Department will then prepare a response to the comments and concerns, at which point a hearing to adopt the EIR will be scheduled.

  15. Building close to the brown people? What happened to all the Irish that used to be in the Mission? What did the brown people do to force them out?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *